Question: How is ELCA World Hunger responding to the food price crises we are hearing about in the news?

The Short Answer: Relief, development, education, and advocacy.

The Long Answer:

Our church understands that the causes of hunger–including the current food price crises–are deep and complex. There is not one “silver-bullet” solution, but there are proven strategies that work–these strategies are at the heart of our church’s ministry of accompaniment with neighbors experiencing hunger and disaster.

The painful news we hear about intensified food crises around the world calls us to carry out our ongoing hunger-fighting ministry with renewed urgency. The stories being told in the news from Zimbabwe, Egypt, Haiti, Mexico and so many more places present an opportunity to talk about hunger in our congregations and invite more people to learn and act. Our partners are counting on us to continue to walk with them and work with them to help communities find food for today and hope for tomorrow.

The ELCA Church Council recently authorized an increase in World Hunger spending for 2008 which will help us strengthen and expand our World Hunger partnerships during this time of increased need. Let’s step up to this challenge with another year of record giving to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal and increased commitment to fight hunger with action and advocacy!

Here are two examples of how our gifts, prayers, and voices make a difference:

Relief and Development – In Zimbabwe, ELCA International Disaster Response has sent $100,000 to be used for emergency food assistance needed because of food insecurity caused by the overlapping challenges of massive inflation, widespread unemployment, and severe weather that has damaged agricultural production. This emergency assistance complements our church’s ongoing support–funded by the ELCA World Hunger Appeal–for the community development and human rights work of Lutheran Development Service in Zimbabwe which provides clean water, health care, education, agricultural development, microcredit, and helps communities break free from hunger and poverty and work towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals.

Education and Advocacy – Have you heard of the ONE campaign? Have you told someone about it? Have you asked elected officials and candidates for elected office where they stand on the issues behind the ONE campaign? The intensified global food crises we are witnessing are linked directly to the need for sufficient poverty-focused foreign aid, debt relief, and fair international trade policies. Join in and help to make the voices of our global neighbors heard by elected officials and powerful decision-makers.

Thanks for all you do to help end hunger!